Free Sewing Projects

“While We Wait For Dinner” Placemats

Finished placemat

These easy-to-sew placemats encourage creative doodling by kids or adults! The pocket holds chalk and eraser. Both fabrics wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Makes (4) 12” x 18” placemats


  • 5/8 yd 52.5” white Protex Table Padding ($7.98 yd)
  • 5/8 yd 47.5” black Chalkboard™ Fabric ($12.98 yd)
  • Polyester thread (we used red)
  • Chalk pencil for marking on black fabric
  • Masking tape or glue stick for “basting” (DO NOT USE PINS!)
  • 4 small boxes of colored chalk or divide a larger box among the four pockets
  • 4 small erasers or sponges or several 5” squares of craft felt or other soft fabric, zigzag stitched together to form pads

Pocket Template Download


Cut (with rotary cutter/ruler or scissors):

  • (4) 12” / 18” rectangles of white Protex Table Padding
  • (4) 10” / 16” rectangles of black Chalkboard™ Fabric
  • (4) pockets of Chalkboard™ Fabric, using below pocket template pattern . Trace shadow image. Pocket is 3/4” wider at top to form pouch.

Making The Placemat:

  1. Set sewing machine to wide zigzag stitch, approximately 6-8 stitches per inch.
  2. Mark pocket placement with chalk pencil on lower right corner of each black rectangle, 5 1/2” width and 4 1/4” height.
  3. Using small pieces of masking tape or glue stick, “baste” pocket at placement lines. Pocket upper edge bellows out to form pouch for chalk and eraser.
    1. Zigzag stitch left side of pocket, backstitching at each end.
    2. Remove tape pieces, if used as you approach them with the zigzag stitch.
  4. Center black rectangle on white rectangle.
    1. Again, tape or glue stick “baste” in place.
    2. Zigzag stitch all around the black rectangle through all layers, including the pocket.
    3. Remove tape pieces, if used as you approach them.
  5. Zigzag stitch all around the outside edge of the white rectangle.
  6. Place chalk and erasers in pockets.